Once above the location that has been chosen by both pilot and spotter, the pilot manuevers through small adjustments and the direction of the spotter to fine tune the placement of the cargo. In an external load... the spotter prepares the load to be released, however it is the pilot that releases the load by triggering the belly hook. Once the load has been released from the belly hook, it is up to the spotter to control the decent of the cargo to the ground. Following the cargo reaching the ground the let down line is also thrown to the ground and the helicopter can fly away having succesfully delivered the cargo.
Another method that we trained with is that of doing internal cargo let down. This is where the cargo to be delivered is internal in the helicopter.
You can see in the picture above that the spotter is directing the pilot into place above the end of the rainbow... and there is no visible cargo hanging from the bottom of the helicopter. They are preparing to do internal cargo let down.
Once the pilot is in place the spotter will move the cargo to the door and jettison it out of the helicopter. Then the spotter will move to the controled decent portion of the Cargo Let Down evolution.... hoping to place the cargo where intended.
It looks as though the spotter has nearly reached the ground where the end of the rainbow sits...
All in all... it was a lot of good training and we were given the thumbs up to use CLD as a tool for inserting cargo. It was a couple of years in the preparing and acquiring the go ahead to train for Cargo Let Down, so I am happy to say that Zion Helitack has successfully crossed another bridge in our journey...